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Suspect in Fairfield murder claims “self defense”

A 57-year old Great Falls man, Martin Lau, was officially charged this morning with deliberate homicide in connection with  the death of Donald Alan Kline of Fairfield.

Charging documents filed this morning identified the victim.  Those documents say that the Teton County Sheriff’s office was first called Saturday evening around 5:45 pm and responded immediately to 1341 County Line Road in Fairfield.  According to court documents the residence is the home Susan Pheifer and Kline.  They say that Lau was invited there by Pheifer.

Details of the reasons for the shooting remain confusing but Lau told Sheriff’s deputies that he shot Kline “in self-defense.”

Court documents say that Kline had confronted Lau inside the home and told him to leave.   The defendant reportedly exited the south side of the residence but went to another entrance to the home where a confrontation took place.

Pheifer told authorities that she heard Kline yell at the defendant to “get out of my house,” and that the defendant had a gun.  She then said she heard two “pops,” which she believed to be gunshots and moments later found Kline lying face down in a pool of blood near the entryway.

Pheifer also told authorities that Kline had never made any verbal threats and that she did not observe him “acting as an aggressor.”

Lau reportedly made the call to the Teton County Sheriff’s office and he remained at the scene when deputies arrived.

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